On this special edition of NO HOLDS BARRED, the second this week, host Eddie Goldman speaks with a very busy Gary Abbott, Director of Communications and Special Projects for USA Wrestling.
Gary has just returned from the first World Grappling Championships, which were held September 9 in Antalya, Turkey, as part of the World Wrestling Games. This was the first time that FILA, the international wrestling federation and which is part of the International Olympic Committee, has sponsored a world championships in grappling.
At that event, grapplers from the US swept the gold medals in all nine weights in both the men's and women's divisions. Among those winning gold medals are several athletes who are prominent in the mixed martial arts, including Jeff Monson and Tara LaRosa.
Next up for the sport of wrestling are the 2007 World Championships of Wrestling. This event takes place September 17-23 at the Heydar Aliyev Sport and Exhibition Complex in Baku, Azerbaijan. Competition will take place in men's and women's freestyle wrestling, and Greco-Roman wrestling. This year's world championships are a qualifying event for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China.
We spoke with Gary about the World Grappling Championships, what this event meant to the combat sports, and the performance of the American team. We next previewed the 2007 World Championships of Wrestling, discussing what to expect from the American wrestlers and pointing out whom to watch closely on the world level.
USA Wrestling's web site, TheMat.com, has a special section devoted to the 2007 World Championships of Wrestling.
The web site of the World Championship Sports Network (WCSN) will also provide live and on-demand video coverage of the 2007 World Championships of Wrestling.